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What is bursitis and how it is treated

Bursitis is a condition characterized by inflammation of the bursae, which are small fluid-filled sacs located between bones, tendons, and muscles. The bursae act as cushions, reducing friction and allowing smooth movement of these structures.

When the bursae become inflamed, typically due to repetitive movements, injury, or infection, it leads to bursitis. Common areas affected by bursitis include the shoulder, elbow, hip, knee, and heel.

Symptoms of bursitis may include:

1. Pain: Typically localized to the affected area, the pain can range from mild to severe.

2. Swelling: The affected area may appear swollen or feel tender to touch.

3. Limited range of motion: Bursitis can cause stiffness and limited movement in the affected joint.

4. Warmth or redness: In some cases, the skin over the affected area may become warm or reddened.

Treatment for bursitis usually involves a combination of self-care measures and medical interventions, such as:

1. Rest and immobilization: Avoiding activities that worsen the symptoms and using splints or braces to limit joint movement can help reduce inflammation.

2. Ice and heat therapy: Applying ice packs or cold compresses to the affected area can help reduce pain and inflammation initially. Heat therapy, such as warm towels or heating pads, may be useful in promoting blood flow and easing muscle stiffness.

3. Medications: Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen, may be recommended to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation.

4. Physical therapy: Specific exercises and stretches prescribed by a physical therapist can help improve joint mobility and strengthen the surrounding muscles.

5. Injections: In some cases, corticosteroid injections may be administered directly into the affected bursa to reduce inflammation and pain.

Severe cases of bursitis or those caused by infection may require additional medical interventions, such as aspiration (removal of fluid from the affected area) or antibiotics.

It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan for bursitis.

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